Seismic performance characterization of fire sprinkler piping systems through shake table testing
Fire sprinkler systems damaged during earthquakes can compromise building functionality either by loss of fire protection and/or flooding damage. To characterize the seismic behavior of fire sprinkler piping systems, shake table tests were conducted on a piping specimen with features representative of actual practices in New Zealand. The specimen was subjected to a set of motions including recorded floor acceleration response histories of an instrumented building in New Zealand. This paper describes the test setup and the piping specimen, and discusses the seismic response of the specimen to multiple floor motions for different bracing variations. Based on the test results reported in this paper, it can be concluded that bracing segments of piping other than the distribution pipe, such as the branch and arm-over pipes, can considerably affect the seismic demand on the system. Further, the test results confirm that the seismic demands on pipes can be considerably greater if the piping system is in resonance with the input excitation motion.
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